ATLANTA — It’s been a long time in the works, and now it’s official: the merger of Citadel Broadcasting and Cumulus Media is complete. Cumulus made the announcement this morning. It’s basically more of a takeover, as Citadel is technically a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of Cumulus. The deal involves four Syracuse market radio stations.
Cumulus / Citadel Merger Timeline
- February 18: Merger talks confirmed, following plenty of speculation and rumor.
- March 10: Merger plan announced
- September 15: Citadel shareholders approve deal, following FCC approval and DOJ approval in the same week
- Today: Merger is completely closed.
Details of the Closing
According to the Cumulus press release, Citadel’s shareholders were given the option to take a combination of cash and Cumulus stock, or they could trade in their Citadel stock for Cumulus stock. Cumulus says it has also paid off about $1.4 billion in outstanding debts.
The acquisition of Citadel gives Cumulus a total of over 570 radio stations in 120 markets, including eight of the nation’s top-ten markets. The Department of Justice’s anti-trust unit gave approval on the condition that the merged company would divest itself of three stations. The FCC said the new company would have to divest a few more stations, in order to meet the FCC’s own market ownership limits.
The required divestitures do not impact Syracuse, where the company owns four radio stations. Those include rocker 95X (WAQX), sports talk The Score 1260 (WSKO), top-40 station 93Q (WNTQ) and 105.9 The Big Talker (WXTL). The FCC’s radio ownership limits range from five to eight stations per market, depending on the number of radio stations present in the market.
Watching Wall Street
As of this writing, Citadel stock ends its run at $33.50 per share. Cumulus stock is currently down by 3 cents at $2.42. We’ve had Cumulus listed in our “Wall Street” sidebar (on the left side of the site) since the merger was first announced, and we’ll soon be removing Citadel.